The first thing you need to know about The Fish Watch is that it’s not a list of sleepers. It is instead a list of players at various points in their respective minor league journeys that for one reason or another have piqued my interest enough that I am watching their development more closely than the bulk of prospects out there. To read more about this project, check out the introduction and master list.
Obviously since the season is over and some teams have had two updates, some have only had one and the NL West teams have had zero coverage thus far, this project did not work out as I had planned on many levels. Undeterred I’m going to sally forth and finish off this round of updates and call it good. Next season if I attempt this again I’m going to have to make some major changes to the structure, plan and concept of this series.
Feel free to check out the category archive to read previous installments of the series.
San Francisco Giants (S2S 2012 Giants Team Prospect List)
OF – Shawn Payne (23) – Giants 2011 35th Round Pick
Reasoning – Payne is a player that caught my eye when I was putting together the Giants Team Prospect List back in February. While he didn’t make the cut to be included in that piece, his Northwest League stat line was impressive with intriguing OBP, SB, BB and SO totals. The question was whether or not he could put up a similar line in a full season league.
2011 – Salem-Keizer (A-): 0.306/.431/.394, 8 2B, 3 3B, 21 SB, 29 BB and 32 SO in 195 PA
2012 – Augusta (A): 0.309/.411/.430, 20 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 53 SB, 61 BB and 73 SO in 491 PA
2012 – San Jose (A+): 3-9, 2B, 2 SO
As you can tell by the stats, Payne was able to improve upon his debut performance with an excellent year in the SAL. For a guy who struck out more than 20% of the time in his last two years at Georgia Southern (he led his team in Ks both years) he’s shown top-notch discipline as a pro. Last season he finished with a 16.4 K% and 14.9 BB%. With the Greenjackets he cut his strikeout rate down to 14.9% and turned in a still solid 12.4 BB% to go with it. Payne was a consistent presence the entire season hitting 0.300 or better in each month except for May when he dipped to 0.238, but even in that rough stretch he maintained a still healthy 0.360 OBP. Payne’s speed also continued to be a factor in his game. Not only did he swipe 53 bases, he did so while being caught just three times giving him a 94.6% success rate on the season.
Payne turned 23 in July and was just a shade (5 months) older that the median age of players in the SAL so there aren’t any real concerns there. In fact he likely could have handled a promotion to San Jose earlier in the season. The CAL figures to be his landing spot to open 2013 and if he can repeat what he’s done the first two years of his career, he may work his way into the Giants plans as a top-of-the order hitter.
LHP – Adalberto Mejia (19) – Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a NDFA March 18th, 2011
Reasoning – I know it’s not wise to get amped up about stats in rookie ball, especially when you’re talking about the Dominican Summer League, but Mejia made 13 starts in the DSL and walked just 8. Try as I might, I just can’t help but follow a LHP prospect that can pull that off at such a young age.
2011 – DSL Giants (FRk): 1.42 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 58 H, 8 BB and 71 SO in 76.0 IP
2012 – Augusta (A): 3.97 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 122 H, 21 BB and 79 SO in 106.2 IP
Obviously the Giants took notice of his season and thought enough of him to skip him over the Arizona and Northwest Leagues. Not only did Mejia have to adjust to the rigors of full season ball, he had to do so while adapting to life in the US in 2012. Aside from the statistical results, and considering the context, his 2012 season was a rousing success. Listed at 6’3″ and 195, he has a near ideal frame for a starter once he tacks on a few pounds. The potential is there for him to add velocity as he remains very projectable but already possesses a strong changeup and is capable of throwing in the low-90s. As a lefty this is an excellent base from which to build. While his SO/9 fell to 6.7 in 2012 and he gave up more hits than innings pitched, he kept his walk rate down (1.8 BB/9). He was at his best in the second half of the season with a 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 49-7 SO-to-BB in 69.0 innings after the All-Star break. Next up figures to be a move to San Jose where the California League will present an enormous challenge for the 19-year old lefty.
RHP – Seth Rosin (23) – Giants 2010 4th Round Pick
Reasoning – Rosin attended Mounds View High School (where I graduated – go Mustangs!) and then went on to pitch for the University of Minnesota. A big framed guy – 6’6″, 250 lbs – he’s struck out a batter per inning and has shown decent control as well. I wrote the following about him at the end of February: “Primarily a three-pitch guy with a low-90s fastball, curve and changeup he was very impressive coming out of the bullpen in the Arizona Fall League and was touching 97 on the radar guns down there. San Francisco used him in the rotation, as a closer and as a set-up man in 2011 but I believe his true value lies as a starter. Hopefully the Giants give him a full season in that role to see what he can do.”
2011 – Augusta (A): 3.34 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 81 H, 30 BB and 93 SO in 89.0 IP
2012 – San Jose (A+): 4.31 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 49 H, 18 BB and 68 SO in 56.1 IP
2012 – Clearwater (A+): 3.00 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 7 H, 4 BB and 7 SO in 12.0 IP
I still think his future is brightest as a starter but the Giants clearly had other plans to open the season. Initially he was used out of the bullpen, pitched in a few different relief roles and wound up with 10 saves along the way. On June 28th he made his first of five starts with San Jose and wound up with a 3.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 24-5 SO-to BB in 24.0 IP as a member of the rotation.
Rosin then made his way to the Clearwater Threshers thanks to the July 31st trade that brought Hunter Pence to San Francisco. He made 3 FSL starts in August after the trade with his last – on August 24th – consisting of just 1.0 inning. He didn’t pitch after that outing but I couldn’t find any information related to an injury. According to his twitter activity he’s already started conditioning for the 2013 season and I assume he will be ready to open the year with Reading. On the whole his 2012 season was solid and productive, but it wasn’t the breakout I was expecting. Undeterred, I remain a believer in his future as a big league rotation arm.
For more on the San Francisco Giants, check out Around the Foghorn!